Apologies if this question has been asked before, I looked at similar ones and couldn't find one that answered this exact question.

Is there such a thing as truth completely independent of conditions, axioms or anything of a similar nature? In mathematics (and epistemology as a whole) we generally need to establish a set of axioms before moving forwards, because our perspective and understanding is limited. However, when it comes to reality, I've always believed that the nature of one thing or another is implicit, regardless of our capacity to understand it. We may not understand it or be able to explain it well given the limitations of language and thought but truth simply is. If I am missing something please let me know.

Simply put, is there anything about the nature of our universe, existence, etcetera which is only true in respect to certain rules that are accepted? I feel like I'm making a simple thing more complicated than it needs to be. Thank you.

  • Added tags 'reality' and 'objectivity'.
    – J D
    Feb 9, 2022 at 23:12
  • Pragmatic theories of truth are broadly constructivist in their approach to truth. From the article: "Instead of truth being ready-made for us, James asserts we and reality jointly "make" truth. This idea has two senses: (1) truth is mutable, (often attributed to William James and F.C.S. Schiller); and (2) truth is relative to a conceptual scheme (more widely accepted in Pragmatism)." Those of us who accept constructivism see objectivity as a malleable consensus.
    – J D
    Feb 9, 2022 at 23:19
  • No, such truth would need of a transcendental rule which could validate it, the equivalent of a divine statement; we can't access such domain (see: noumenon). So, what is common truth sustained upon? Reason is based on tautologies (see: Kant). I want to survive because I want to exist and vice-versa. 1=1 because it fits my experience, which is possible because 1=1. Any deep fact can be explained by other reasons, in a circular form.
    – RodolfoAP
    Feb 10, 2022 at 18:31
  • There is a difference between truth and reality. Truth can only be assigned to statements, and those, obviously, depend on the concepts in them, otherwise they are meaningless. The concepts, in their turn, depend on the type of intellect that conceives them, its resources, etc. So truth is not "simply", only reality simply is. And reality is not pre-packaged into any kind of concepts to make sense of "completely independent" truth.
    – Conifold
    Feb 10, 2022 at 19:51
  • 1
    Your "complete objective truth" spec sounds like Kant's Thing-in-itself, and by Kant's Critique, our minds may attempt to correlate in useful ways, perhaps even closely accurate ways, with the structure and order of the various aspects of the universe, but cannot know these "things-in-themselves" (noumena) directly. As a concession if you'd like to formulate your desired truth in such correlated inference, then it must be language dependent and it's nontrivial to find such a formula in any expressively adequate languages or metalang per logic... Feb 10, 2022 at 21:00

5 Answers 5


I doubt that you will find a satisfactory answer for this question.

The topic of "Truth" is very complicated, and there are many different approaches on how to handle it. There is no objective, common, understanding of what "Truth" is, at all. It is very hard to answer questions like this on concepts that are for all intents or purposes more or less undefined, or defined in several different ways by different people.

To get some insight into what people have thought on that, just take an eagle's eyes view on the table-of-contents of the corresponding Wikipedia page on Truth. One book that stands out is "Kirkham, R: Theories of Truth: A Critical Introduction (Bradford Books)", which talks about Truth within more than 400 pages.

The same goes for concepts like "reality", "existence", "universe", "matter", "time" and so on... all of those are squishy and up to discussion/definition.

For a real chance at answering your question, you'd have to specify the context in which you are asking - or in other words, provide axioms. Which leads us back in a circle to your question of whether it is to provide Truth directly, without having anything else to work with.


Truth is the correspondence to reality, self evident, universal, global, timeless and absolute.

Let's just assume the following (false) statement for a moment:

There is no objective truth

The verb is implies an assertion about the objective order of things, the conformity to reality. This would be a contradiction in itself, since the existence of objective truth cannot be evaluated without objectiveness.

Objective truth must therefore not only exist, but is a prerequisite for objective assertions to be made at all.

Physics reveals objective truth. Mathematics reveals objective truth. Without objective truth, science couldn't exist at all.

  • Thank you. I feel like what you're essentially saying is the pursuit of truth or even attempt to express truth implies the existence of it. Correct me if I'm wrong. Feb 9, 2022 at 23:05
  • That's the correspondent theory of truth. :D There are others. See here. Objectivity might be seen as consensual intersubjectivity.
    – J D
    Feb 9, 2022 at 23:14
  • Can you expand on "The verb is implies an assertion about the objective order of things, the conformity to reality." It would be of interest to me to consider a formal argument.
    – Galen
    Feb 9, 2022 at 23:25
  • Newtonian Mechanics is not truth, just a good approximation. General Relativity is a better approximation, but not really truth, it doesn't include gravitation...
    – Just me
    Feb 19, 2022 at 10:48

Completely objective or absolute truth is like infinity, a name for a notion, rather than an actual physical reality. An assumption at best, but workable as such. In practice you can assume your own existence to be absolute truth, simply because as subjective as it may seem, that is as absolute as it will ever get to you.

In science, objective truth is generated by simply ignoring all objectives except the ones covered by the assumption. This allows for abstraction of problems and solutions that may or may not work in real life.

In my opinion, one of the most underestimated and undervalued experiences in life is finding out how wrong you are. The stuff I am writing right now, could be the most ignorant nonsense ever written, but there is only one way to find out if it is. Absolute truth serves as an instrument to get there.

So,... is there such a thing as completely objective truth?

It may seem scary sometimes, but there is if you say there is, because you say there is. On a cosmic scale, there is no up or down until someone calls it.

  • So that's the thing, since this is my perspective and there's no way to really prove it to be true or untrue, I'm trying to see if there's anyone who can say otherwise. If not, I will have to accept it as "as close to the truth as possible," in the style of the scientific method. Feb 10, 2022 at 4:54
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    @EthanDandelion My point exactly. That plus the fact that one should take pride in getting minus votes on this site. The better answers are seldom the ones at the top. You know, the ones with all the votes must be those supported by objective truth. :)
    – user57804
    Feb 10, 2022 at 16:14

What you are asking about is an important part of epistemology, which is concerned with knowledge in general. Here you will find different philosophers defining the meaning of 'truth' in various ways. Those that believe that there is such a thing as (objective) 'truth' will often argue that truth is about a correspondence between between a thought/knowledge and a world that's independent of the mind, which is known as the correspondence theory of truth. In light of this the question then becomes about what and how we can know the outside world.

More specifically the doubt whether one can know anything would fall under Philosophical skepticism which has taken various shapes throughout history.

This should hopefully give you the terms to be able to research these questions.

Personally the way I 'answered' this question for myself is that all relative knowledge - no matter what the large majority of knowledge - is one way or another based on other knowledge. At the 'start' of this web (wherever it may be) of relative knowledge there is either objective knowledge or relative knowledge. IF it is relative, then all my knowledge is meaningless including my reasoning about the meaningfulness of knowledge. Thus the only meaningful possibility is that the 'start' of this tree requires objective knowledge.

Where such objective knowledge could enter our web of knowledge becomes a more complex question, and before one can even consider that one would have to consider which knowledge claims could even be objective (regardless of whether they are). Many philosophers have argued that human perception would (have to) be objective in this way, but I never was able to justify their reasoning (also worth reading about realism and idealism in general). More broadly religions have a decent conceptual basis for the claim that the things they describe are events where objective knowledge entered our web. And then there is stuff like Plato's ideals and all that, but that all gets far too 'vague' for me.

And all that still leaves me with the belief that all knowledge I have is relative, and that the best thing I can do is to get 'closer' to objective knowledge. The question becomes more 'how to judge the quality of a truth claim' and not 'is this true?'.


Ultimately, no. Truth depends on power, like the postmodernist said; however, that power is called GOD and, practically, we don't get to decide what the Truth is at our own convenience.

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